In the coming weeks and months, the volume of COVID-19 tests will increase across various care settings, including hospitals, labs, and drive-through testing sites. Becker’s Hospital Review recently reported that six health systems – including Mayo Clinic, Geisinger and Stanford – are developing their own diagnostic tests in light of loosened restrictions by the FDA.
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, quick communication of test results will be critical to minimizing the risk of community spread and assisting nationwide efforts to “flatten the curve”. Automation of test result communication also has an immediate impact on the ability of clinical staff to provide direct patient care, as it frees them up from making calls to deliver test results so that they can attend to patients’ bedside needs.
So while testing ramps up, new ways to quickly communicate these results along with crucial next step actions will be essential.
According to CipherHealth’s Chief Nursing Officer, Lisa Romano, MSN, RN:
“Hospitals need an efficient and scalable way to keep their resources focused on where they’re most needed – bedside care. As the number of patients in need of inpatient care surges, healthcare resources will be further strained. Reducing dependence on clinical staff to manually call patients with COVID-19 test results will be an essential strategy to avoid delays in communicating results that could negatively impact follow-up care.”
How CipherHealth Can Help
In addition to our standardized CipherHealth Screening Outreach Program, CipherHealth has developed an automated outreach program that communicates results to patients tested for COVID-19, whether positive or negative.
CipherHealth’s COVID-19 Test Result Outreach Program includes automated phone and text outreach to patients that clearly communicates a positive or negative test result for COVID-19.
- For patients who test positive:
Standard information within the outreach call or text shares care instructions, contact information, and TeleMedicine alternatives, with an option to transfer patients directly to staff members for assistance.
- For patients who test negative:
These patients are directed to the healthcare facility’s website for continued education on how to prevent exposure.
Four Essential COVID-19 Actions
CipherHealth’s COVID-19 Test Result Outreach Program addresses all four essential actions declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020. These actions need to be implemented quickly and efficiently to control the spread of the virus and care for those affected:
Action 1. Prepare and Be Ready
In this time of unprecedented attention to health and healthcare operations, we will be working to provide hospitals and care facilities with tools and resources that can help them reach more patients, and ultimately save more patients.
Action 2. Detect, Protect, and Treat
By quickly communicating results, patients will have the information necessary to protect others and seek any necessary treatment. This is especially critical for positive patients, as they will need to quarantine as quickly as possible to reduce transmission.
Action 3. Reduce Transmission
Patients who have tested positive will be directed to TeleMedicine resources as appropriate and instructed on self-quarantine measures. Preservation of vital staff resources will be further supported through our outreach program, as website links and phone numbers to the organization’s COVID-19 call centers can be made available.
Action 4. Innovate and Learn
CipherHealth’s reporting platform, CipherInsights, provides essential data on the number of patients who received or engaged with a testing outreach call. For those testing positive, essential documentation pertaining to results of further screening and care instructions will provide the organization with the ability to continually monitor patients and refine future Emergency Preparedness needs.
In this time of unprecedented attention to health and healthcare operations, we will be working to provide hospitals and care facilities with tools and resources that can help them reach more patients and ultimately save more lives.
To learn more about how CipherHealth is helping hospitals and care facilities address the COVID-19 outbreak:
Download our COVID-19 Test Result Outreach Program overview.
Download our COVID-19 Screening Outreach Program overview.
Follow the CipherHealth Coronavirus blog.